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Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park graphic: what's built/what might be coming (post-dated pinned post)

Click on graphic to enlarge. This is post-dated to stay at the top of the blog. It will be updated as announced configurations change and buildings launch. The August 2014 tentative configurations proposed by developer Greenland Forest City Partners will change, and the project is already well behind that tentative timetable.


As FCRT explores "alternatives," there should be a market for part/all of the firm

A story yesterday in National Real Estate Investor, Forest City Would Attract Plenty of Bidders in a Potential Sale, notes that yesterday's announced sale of Forest City Realty Trust's New York retail portfolio (including Atlantic Terminal and Atlantic Center malls) was long in the works, but that the rest of the company could be in play, thanks to the company's 9/11/17 announcement "to explore a broad range of alternatives to enhance stockholder value."

Given its location in major urban centers, real estate analyst Paul Adornato tells NERI, Forest City “would be a very attractive target.” It also has unused development rights. But the "additional income potential" of projects in process, including Pacific Park Brooklyn, should be tempered by a recognition that that project at least has been stalled and subject to a glut of market rate units.

Beyond selling particular assets, an interviewee suggested that various large entities, such as Blackstone or Br…

Madison International buys remaining share of Forest City's NYC malls; considers roof deck and more opposite arena

Well, in January, the Real Deal reported that Madison International, already a 49% owner of Forest City Realty Trust's New York City retail portfolio, was aiming to buy the remainder of the property, and now it's official.

The agreement announced today (press releases at bottom) values Forest City's interest at about $1 billion; we'll see if that's deemed a good price or a sale from weakness.

Not only is Madison buying Atlantic Terminal and Atlantic Center malls, across from the Barclays Center, it is "considering the potential redevelopment" of both. Crain's adds detail:
[Madison's Ronald] Dickerman said his firm plans to invest "ten of millions of dollars" repositioning the two adjacent Downtown Brooklyn properties to bring in new tenants and make the complex a hipper destination. Included in the plans are an increased number of food options and the installation of a roof deck that Dickerman said would lure larger crowds from the Barcl…

No update on construction timetable; developer admits B15 site "disgusting," cites partial progress

OK, the hole in the sidewalk outside the B15 site was fixed recently, but weeds, garbage, and rats persist just east of Sixth Avenue between Dean and Pacific streets, given an indifferently maintained, long-stalled site.

After complaints from neighbors last night at the bi-monthly Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Quality of Life meeting, even Ashley Cotton, Forest City New York's External Affairs EVP, acknowledged "you’re right, it’s disgusting" and announced partial progress.

Because the joint venture Greenland Forest City Partners is still negotiating with a site neighbor about construction protections--the issue in a lawsuit from another neighbor, which was resolved--"we’re in a tricky place," Cotton said, with no construction start imminent.

The building design was announced in December 2015, but delays surfaced in June 2016. Even if the neighbor issue is resolved, given the glut of luxury units, there may not be a business case for the planned 664 Pacific, wit…

The Islanders in Nassau: a "tease" of a return

So, the New York Islanders held a pre-season game Sunday at the renovated/downsized Nassau Coliseum--er, NYCB Live--and it sold out, with 13,917 fans, many tailgating in the parking lot. "Bring them back," chanted fans.

Does that mean the team, engaged in renegotiating its Barclays Center lease and likely bidding on a new arena at the Belmont racetrack site, might return to a shrunken Nassau arena, with few luxury boxes? Not so likely.

A tease at the Coliseum, wrote Newsday's Randi Marshall, who interviewed Brett Yormark, CEO executive of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, which operates both arenas:
Yormark told The Point he sees a two-phase opportunity: first, the Islanders come back for some games, perhaps temporarily; and second, if the team reconsiders making the arena a more permanent home. Both, he noted, would require “doable” improvements to the arena.
“I think yesterday was a great first step for us in what will be a multistep process,” Yormark said in an inter…

Outside B15 site, sidewalk hazard finally fixed (in time for tonight's meeting)

Hey, remember the photo at right, which I published more than two months ago, of the sidewalk on the south side of Pacific Street east of Sixth Avenue, outside the stalled B15 site?

It was a hazard and, actually, a sign of more blight than was found in 2006 by Empire State Development (ESD), the state authority shepherding/overseeing Atlantic Yards (now Pacific Park).

In this case, rather than the state authority using the broken sidewalk (and other sidewalk cracks) as a justification for eminent domain, the city Department of Transportation first tried abatement, ordering the property owner--in this case, ESD, though the site would be taken over by the developer--to fix the hazard or face a fine.

And the fix has been accomplished, as shown in the photo below, from late last week. Perhaps the timing of it all will be discussed at tonight's Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Quality of Life meeting.


NY Post front-page: suits vs. Barclays charge too-dangerous steep seats

Everyone who's been to the cheap seats at the Barclays Center knows they're pretty steep, thus adding a measure of hazard, and in some cases a very cramped fit trying to get past those already sitting down.

Add in a full house, large people, and/or drunkenness, and the hazard compounds.

A cover story Sunday, posted Saturday 9/16/17 as Fans sue Barclays Center over ‘exceedingly dangerous’ cheap seats, states:
The steep upper bowl of the Barclays Center has prompted at least four lawsuits from folks claiming they were crushed by fellow patrons who tumbled over the harrowingly sheer, narrow, dark rows or stairs. The story is keyed to the latest of the lawsuits, likely goosed by the plaintiff's attorney, since this case, as far as I can tell, is not yet publicly available in the state court database.

(I couldn't find the other three alleged suits, either, which means either I need to look harder, or they might have been settled before they moved ahead. A lawyer told the…

Nets said to hire Cleveland announcer after "borderline scam" local auditions

Update: yes, it's official.

The news isn't official yet, but there's solid evidence, as NetsDaily reports, that the Brooklyn Nets have hired the Cleveland Cavaliers' announcer, Olivier Sedra, to replace the departed David Diamante.

And that suggests that the Nets' July announcement of auditions (see press release, DNAinfo coverage) was another public relations stunt, which generated coverage on News12 and in New York magazine, among other press outlets.

Remember, Diamante, already a pro announcer, was chosen after the Nets in 2011 held auditions that generated even more press coverage. And he got gentle treatment.

In comments on NetsDaily, one fan observed that "it's hard to believe that they couldn't find new talent right here in Brooklyn" while another remarked on the "number of talented people" in the borough.

Responded Net Income (aka Bob Windrem), the main contributor to NetsDaily:
and one reason we didn’t do much on the "audit…

An affordable housing estimate: 800,000 units needed by 2050!

On Bisnow, 9/14/17, the article Building Affordable Housing In New York Keeps Getting Harder contained a hard number:
"I do not believe anybody has actually stated how many affordable housing units are needed in New York City," said Jonathan Rose, the CEO and founder of his eponymous firm. "My guess is about 800,000." Most of the numbers surrounding the idea of meeting affordable housing needs in New York are astronomical. The city has added about 50,000 jobs every year since the Great Recession, driving up demand for market-rate units even in the outer boroughs. Construction costs are higher in New York than just about any city in the world, which makes it impossible to build new affordable buildings without heaps of government subsidies. Keep in mind that Mayor Bill de Blasio's much-vaunted Housing New York Plan, announced in 2014, involves 200,000 units over ten years, but 60% of that, or 120,000 units, is preservation.
So 80,000 new units is just ten percen…

Updating Forest City's latest move: Land and Buildings letter from April slamming continued family control

When earlier this year I wrote about  Forest City Realty Trust (FCRT), parent of Forest City New York, indicated that the real estate investment trust (REIT) was considering a potential sale or merger, I said it was in response to harsh letters from the hedge fund Land and Buildings.

However, I only referenced the first two letters but not the third, from 4/25/17, which, as Bloomberg put it, "said Forest City would attract numerous bidders if it put itself up for sale."

Ok, here's the letter (also at bottom), with emphasis added, headlined "Land and Buildings Calls on Forest City Realty Trust to Form Special Committee to Evaluate Strategic Alternatives":
Dear Fellow Forest City Realty Trust Shareholders:
It appears to be business as usual at Forest City despite the announcement of two new director additions.
Regrettably for shareholders, that means the Ratners are maintaining their grip on Forest City and the composition of our Board of Directors. The announcemen…